The Fall River Historical Society has a great new idea to celebrate the little things in life that once helped keep us healthy.
The company has launched a new hashtag, #tinytuesday, on its Facebook page which over the next few weeks will “feature vintage medicinal aids” that “you might find in an early 20th century medicine cabinet.”
So what was first on the list? A bottle of Coca-Cola syrup.
As the historical society pointed out, Coca-Cola was invented by a pharmacist, John Stith, in 1886 and was “marketed as a panacea for various ailments.” In its early days, Coca-Cola actually contained cocaine, although the drug was no longer added to cola syrup at the time this particular bottle was manufactured. They stopped adding it in 1929.
This particular bottle, the historical company pointed out, “dates to the 1940s and was sold by Touhey’s Pharmacy, which had been in Fall River for nearly 100 years.”
Can you imagine going to the pharmacy in the 1940s and asking for a bottle of Coca-Cola syrup to ease your stomachache? When you think about it, it’s not that different from today’s medical advice, when drinking plain ginger ale or similar soft drink helps calm the stomach.
Fortunately, pharmacists eventually stopped using cola syrup as a panacea and instead started mixing it with seltzer water and creating the drugstore soda fountains that eventually gave birth to the beverage industry. carbonated.
My dad’s Uncle Bob ran the Clark’s Pharmacy in Norwood, Massachusetts after World War II, and I loved hearing his stories about mixing the various sodas and sundaes at the pharmacy’s soda fountain. I myself worked in a restaurant for a number of years that still had the original Coca-Cola soda fountain, although the days were gone when it could be used and was more of a decoration than anything else thing.
A real 80-year-old Coca-Cola syrup bottle, however, is a really cool piece of history. Can’t wait to see what else the Fall River Historical Society has in store for future editions of #tinytuesday.
While the historical society said they wouldn’t suggest taking a spoonful of Coca-Cola syrup from the bottle, I’m terribly tempted – but what would I do then if the supposed cure for an upset stomach is this who gave me stomach pain?